Doctors have developed a test based on a blood test that allows a pregnant woman to know the sex of the baby just 7 weeks after conception. It is three months earlier than was possible until now, when parents wanted for a second ultrasound, held by about the 20th week.
The new test checks for the male Y-chromosome DNA in the fetus. It can be detected in the blood of the mother. Male cells contain a pair of XY chromosomes while female — XX, so if the mother's blood detected Y-chromosome — a boy. Tests have shown that the accuracy of the test is 99%. The new technique is already used in the U.S., Israel and European countries.
The cost of this test in the UK is 300 pounds. Proponents of innovation emphasize that "if a woman wants and can afford something like this before, then it would be unethical to deny it," writes The Daily Mail.
At the same time, there are concerns that the definition of the sex of the baby at this early stage can cause some women to terminate a pregnancy if the test results do not meet their expectations. This is especially likely for African and Asian countries (India, China and South Korea), where the high rate of abortions of female fetuses.